Spicy Soba Noodles with Sausage

I had never made soba noodles for myself until last summer, when I got inspired by one of Theodora’s soba noodle bowls and picked up some pre-cooked, cold noodles from the store. So easy, so fast, so tasty — and yet, they didn’t enter my regular rotation.

The other day, though, I was wandering my lovely local market and suddenly remembered those cold buckwheat noodles — what a simple, easy dinner they’d made on a night when I barely wanted to turn on the stove. I couldn’t find the pre-cooked ones, but I picked up a bag of uncooked noodles and figured I’d be able to handle making them cold on my own.

soba noodles

The inspiration for everything else was a pasta salad I used to make back in college — salami, cheese, red onion — but spicier and fresher. I spent a long time choosing the sausage, but once I picked andouille, everything else followed.

The one (minor) fail was the garlic oil I attempted to use as dressing. I went into this meal expecting to top the noodles with chili-infused olive oil, but apparently we ate it all — used it all? Do you really “eat” olive oil? — and so I tried to fake some garlic oil by cooking a few whole cloves of garlic in a few tablespoons of oil over low heat while I prepped the rest of the dish. It turned out OK but not very garlicky, and if I were to do this again, I’d make a vinegar-based dressing instead; the oil weighed things down a bit too much. The flavors meshed well, though, and only got better after a day in the fridge, so if you’re looking for a simple meal with serious leftover potential, this might be the ticket.

Spicy Soba Noodles with Sausage
Soba noodles, dry or cooked and cold; I prepared 4 servings
Red bell pepper, cut into chunks
3-4 green onions, thinly sliced
Sausage of your choice; I used two Aidells links
Red pepper flakes
Chili powder
Salt and pepper
Olive oil/vinegar/your choice of dressing

1. Prepare the soba noodles according to the instructions on the package; once they’re done, drain in a colander and rinse thoroughly with cold water to cool them down.

2. Cut the sausage into coins and grill or saute them until cooked/heated through. (You can cut the coins smaller once grilled; I ended up quartering mine.)

3. Rinse the pasta pot with cold water so it’s nice and cool, and dump the noodles back in. Add the cooked sausage, bell pepper, and green onions, and toss well. If you’re using any sort of dressing, add that now too.

4. Season to taste; I ended up using a lot of red pepper flakes and just a dash of chili powder, and I could have used more of both.

5. Eat for days. If you have time to pop this in the fridge before you serve, even better; I liked it best at its coldest.

3 responses

  1. Looks beautiful! Good suggestion about switching to a vinegar-based dressing. Perfect cold salad for our steamy east coast weather.

  2. Hello. I’m going to jump in here. And – Hello! For cold soba, I like a little toasted sesame oil and (try it) strong chilled green tea. Probably add some vinegar in there, although I’ve never been a big vinegar girl myself. Add some baked/smoked tofu, red pepper, and scallions, and I’m done. Here’s my sounds-complicated but is-actually-simple go-to for hot soba soup, which i like to eat until my stomach aaallllllmmmooooossssttttt explodes. All inspired by my amateur inability/desire to copy the fishy/savory sauce they serve with hot udon soup.
    1. Make an ENORMOUS bouquet garni of the following things (I fill large tea bags and tie them off):
    -one can oily anchovies or sardines
    -couple cloves garlic
    -onion or shallot (with more added to pot)
    2. In small pot, saute some more onion/shallot, add water, bring to boil.
    3. Add bouquet garni, salt, and (if you have it lying around, which I almost never do) a miso soup packet.
    4. Turn down to simmer, and simmer for 30 min (15 if you are really hungry/impatient, which I almost always am).
    5. Remove bouquet garni.
    6. After this point, you can add dry soba, but beware: only leave the heat on for 2 min – the soba will continue to cook in the hot soup, and you don’t want soggy soba.

    In separate (large!) bowl, have
    1. Cooked soba (unless you cooked it in the soup)
    2. Shit ton of scallions
    3. Handful of raw spinach leaves

    Pour soup pot into bowl of veggies. Add Giant Ogre Shit Ton of Japanese Shichimi Togarashi pepper. Eat quickly so that your throat scalds and stomach explodes in ecstasy.

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